Feeds

God particle hunt breakthrough expected TODAY

Cancel lunch - significant Higgs boson data promised

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Expect an update on modern science's understanding of the fabric of the universe this lunchtime: physicists working on the Large Hadron Collider will announce their latest findings at 1300 GMT.

The boffins will reveal whether or not their results indicate the existence of the Higgs boson, the "god particle" that gives mass to some particles. The seminar will be webcast from Geneva and a press statement issued at 1430 GMT.

They are not expected to confirm anything conclusive but from a CERN pre-seminar announcement, it seems that the results will be significant:

These results will be based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the Higgs.

There are two experiments at CERN testing for the Higgs boson: Atlas and CMS. Each uses different methods to search for the particle.

How the findings correlate will be vital in ruling whether a telltale spike in readings is a statistical anomaly or evidence of the particle's existence.

However, it's likely the data available now will be below the bar needed to prove a discovery. The two experiments are only pinpoint the particles at a rate of 2.5 to 3.5 sigma (the measure of statistical certainty). As the Reg reported last week: "At 2.5 sigma, there is a 1 per cent chance that the results are a fluke, and at 3.8 sigma, that chance drops to 0.01 per cent."

The experts hope to have gathered enough data by March to be sure of the finding.

If the results don't find the Higgs where it is expected to be, that would be an even more dramatic discovery, meaning that current physics theory would have to be rethought. It's a possibility - there are some gaps within Higgs' Standard Model theory.

Tune into CERN at 1pm GMT for an update. ®

Bootnote

You can catch the findings from the presentation here.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.